lunedì 30 luglio 2012


Pasta entree - vegetarian - gluten free (read notes below)

1 lb of Italian pasta (fusilli bucati or Orecchiette are the best, I used regular Italian fusilli)
1 8-oz. mozzarella, cubed (1/2-1" size)
2 big, ripe tomatoes, cubed as big as mozzarella
1 cucumber, sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, halved or quartered
Fresh basil, as much as you want
Very good Italian exta virgin olive oil

Bring a large ot of water to boil.

In the meantime, arrange all vegetables, mozzarella, garlic and basil in a big bowl. Season with salt and olive oil and set aside.

When water boils, add salt and pasta.

Cook until al dente, drain, quickly rinse under cold water, then spread on a clean kitchen towel to cool down to room temperature, trying to separate every piece of pasta.

Transfer to the bowl with mozzarella and vegetables, mix well to combine all ingredients, adjust with salt and olive oil.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, at least. Discard garlic.

This recipe serves 4-6 people

- The earlier you prepare this dish, the less you should cook pasta.
- If you like to keep garlic, mince it, instead of cutting it in 2 or 4 pieces.
- Because this is a very simple dish, the ingredients MUST be of a very good quality, in order to have a very good result. Past should be Italian and good, as well as Olive oil and, possibly, mozzarella.
- It can be gluten free, if you use gluten free pasta, and it's vegetarian.

lunedì 23 luglio 2012


Fish entree - complete meal - lactose free

1 cup Italian barley
12 sole fillets
12 1"-cubes, prepared with salmon fillets
1/4 cup chopped leeks
1 oz dried Italian porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 onion, 1/2 whole and 1/2 chopped
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, salt, flour

Cook barley for 35 minutes in salted boiling water with the half (whole) onion.

Soak porcini in lukewarm water for 20 minutes; remove them, squeeze and cut bigger pieces. Carefully strain soaking water and set aside.

Drain barley; in a big skillet, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee the chopped onion in it for about 5 minutes, add barley and rosemary and sautee for about 2 minutes, in order to combine all ingredients.

Arrange part of the barley on the sole fillets and roll them; alternate 3 rolls and 3 salmon cubes on each skewer. Dredge them in flour.

In another skillet, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat and sautee leeks for 2-3 minutes. Add porcini and stir.

After 2 more minutes, add skewers and brown fish on all sides, pour wine and, when it's evaporated, add a little of the mushrooms water. Season with salt and cook for about 10 more minutes (add more water, if you need).

Serve skewers with barley and steamed (or grilled) vegetables, this way, you'll have a complete dish.

This recipe serves 4.

- You can also use Farro instead of barley.
- It's Lactose free!

lunedì 16 luglio 2012


Appetizer - Side dish - gluten free - vegetarian (read note below)

3-4 Zucchine, depending on the size, cut lengthwise about 1/4" thick
1 8-oz mozzarella, roughly chopped
1 14-oz can Italian San Marzano tomatoes with their juice, crushed
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp capers, packed in salt and rinsed, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Italian dry cured black olives, roughly chopped
3 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 tbsp oregano
Extra virgin olive oil, salt

Brush zucchine with olive oil on both sides, then lightly grill the zucchine slices. Let them cool down.

In the meantime, prepare the pizzaiola sauce: in a saucepan with lid, combine tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives, anchovies and oregano. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400.

Layer zucchine slices in a oiled baking pan, top with pizzaiola sauce, sprinkle with chopped mozzarella and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Bake until cheese melts and serve immediately.

- It can be served as appetizer or side dish.
- If you have leftover sauce, you can use it for pasta, fish or meat.
- If you don't use anchovies, it will be a vegetarian dish. It is also gluten free!

lunedì 9 luglio 2012


Pasta entree - lactose free - can be vegetarian and gluten free (read notes below)

1 lb fusilli bucati corti
4 zucchine, grated
4 oz Italian dry cured black olives, pitted, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 14-oz can of Italian San Marzano tomatoes with their juice, roughly chopped
40 mussels, opened, valves removed
2 tbsp basil, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

When oil is warm, sautee garlic until golden and remove it; add zucchine and olives and stir. When zucchine are soft, add tomatoes, season with salt and hot pepper flakes, if you like it, cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, then add mussels. Stir, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the chopped herbs.

When water boils add salt and pasta, stir and cook until al dente (about 8-10 minutes), drain and transfer to the saucepan with the sauce, tossing it until well combined, on medium-high heat.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

- You can also use same quantity of crushed or strained San Marzano tomatoes.
- This pasta shape is the best because it holds the sauce and, being hollow (bucati), sauce actually "enters" your pasta.
- You can make this sauce with clams, or half mussels and half clams. It is great even if you prepare it without fish, which will result in a vegetarian dish.
- It's a lactose free dish.
- You can use 2 boxes of Italian gluten free fusilli (made only with corn flour) making it a gluten free dish!

lunedì 2 luglio 2012


Rice salad - gluten free - lactose free and vegetarian (see notes below)

1 cup carnaroli Italian rice
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 oz Asiago cheese, diced
6 anchovy fillets, broken in pieces
1/2 cup Italian dry cured black olives, halved
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add salt and rice. Boil until al dente, about 18 minutes. Drain and spread on a clean kitchen towel to cool down.

In a big aboul arrange all vegetables, cheese and basil. Season with salt and 1 tbsp of the olive oil, stir and refrigerate until the rice has cooled down to room temperature.

When the rice is at room temperature, arrange it in the bowl, add the remaining olive oil and the basil; toss to combine all ingredients and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for 1 hour at least.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

- You can add all the vegetables you like: cucumber, celery, grated carrots, lettuce... anything you can think of
- You can also add hard boiled eggs
- It's gluten free, it can be lactose free (avoid cheese) or vegetarian (avoid anchovies)
- It can be prepared with Farro, too; in that case you'll need to cook it longer (about 35 minutes)